Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian peace activist, reflects on the importance and value of learning about the Holocaust:
I must admit that growing up I did not know much about the Holocaust. As Palestinians, we simply did not learn about it. There was a stigma attached to it, an understanding that Israel would use the Holocaust to lobby for sympathy, then turn and use the sympathy as a terrible weapon against the Palestinian people. So when I was asked about the Holocaust, I always felt that defensive urge to say “It was not my fault! I suffered for it too.” Deep down, I think I felt that by acknowledging their pain, I would betray or marginalize my own suffering. Also, some part of me feared that if I sympathized with “the enemy,” my right to struggle for justice might be taken away. Now I know this is nonsense: you are stronger when you let humanity overcome enmity. However, it took me time to learn this lesson.
To read Aziz’s excellent essay: click here.
* Update: I am glad to see that Aziz’s article has also been republished in Haaretz.